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Location: A Rider Waystation near North
POV: Karigan G'ladheon

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Characters ReferencedEdit

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SummaryEdit

Karigan and Condor gallop, faded out, through the night. In the morning, Condor leaves the road and enters an area clear of undergrowth. Karigan loses her fading, and realizes they are before a cozy cabin with a winged horse carved over the door.

Karigan enters. She finds it dark and dusty within. She takes note of the cabin contents. She trades her shirt for one from the closet. She beats dust out of the mattress. She then.goes outside to sneeze, and sees to untacking Condor and letting him into the paddock. She gives him grain and water from a stream, then returns to the cabin, falling asleep.

She awakens, chilly, the next morning. She sets a fire in the hearth, then goes outside to feed and water the horse. She returns to the cabin to bathe. She looks through the cabin's supplies and finds soap, tea, spices and ointment. She makes tea and burns her old shirt. She borrows clothing from the closet to replace the clothing the weapons threw away: green suede trousers, leather gloves, and another shirt. When she bathes, she finds her wrists are sore but not infected, and bandages them again. She eats from her saddlebags.

That afternoon, she awakens and examines the cabin's books. They are: The Journeys of Gyllan Wyllowland, the Natural History of the Northern Wilderness, and a green rider journal. She reads the journal, from an entry ten years old to more modern ones, enjoying the variety of entries, until dusk.

She goes out to feed and water the horse, and is startled by Abram Rust. She fades out. He seems friendly, and Condor is not afraid. After the man introduces himself and explains he is a King's forrester, she drops the fading. He warns her against using her magic, because wards around tge waystation will conflict with it. She threatens him soundly and ts him lead her inside, as using her magic has weakened her greatly.

Inside the cabin, he tells her he often visits Green Riders who stop at the way-station. . He says he has been a forester since before there was a way-station, since before Queen Isen. He laments encroachments by tree poachers who do not replant. They discuss the town of North while he smokes a pipe. Karigan suddenly understands the Berry sisters' directions on how to get to Sacor City.

Karigan admits she is not a green rider, and Abram becomes irate. Karigan cannot fade out. She explains herself, and he finds her story satisfactory. She tells him about the Eletians and shows him her moonstone. They discuss her detour to North, and he warns her of the lawlessness. He tells her about the anti-monarchy-league. He tells her that the King has recently rurned down a marriage proposal from the cloud islands, straining relations. He mentions support for Amilton. He warns her that the only bridge over the Terrygood is in North. He offers to lead her close to town, through the woods, and tells her she should stay at an inn called the Fallen Tree.

Later that evening, he tells her stories about the forest and of green riders he has met. One is very accident prone, He has retired to a blueberry farm in Coutre province, near Afton village. Another was a gambler with a questionable background. A third was a beautiful singer, eventually killed by an angry noblemen. He speaks of legends of the first rider and the old days, Karigan eventually falls asleep. He tucks her in and leaves.

Karigan's DreamEdit

Karigan dreams of a green rider struggling up a steep, sandy slope amidst jagged blue mountains. Then of another cantering along a beach, kicking up surf, joyful. A third grimly rides down a cobbled street, sabre bare. The sound of hoofbeats swells, and she sees herself, astride Condor, galloping through a wintery scene. Condor sprouts wings and they fly above the snow, into the stars where the gods dwell. They descend and return to the forest, where Abram Rust is chopping a tree. The tree has a winged horse carved into it, and he tells her it will make the mast of a ship to carry her through the ages. He laughs, and the tree falls, revealing the stars above.

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